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Vietnam’s manufacturing sector started the second quarter on a healthy footing as new export orders rose at a record pace.

The Nikkei-Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for Vietnam was down slightly at 54.1 in April compared to 54.6 in in March.

However, the rate of new export orders grew at a survey-record pace, with companies surveyed reporting a sharp rise in new orders on strengthening client demand both at home and abroad.

Employment grew for a thirteenth consecutive month to meet growth in new orders, but the rate of job creation eased from the previous month.

Vietnamese manufacturers pushed up purchasing activity in April as they sought to build up inventories in anticipation of further new order growth, the survey found.

Input costs rose in April on higher demand with some companies reporting higher prices for Chinese goods, but the rate of cost inflation fell to its weakest since October.

Andrew Harker, of IHS Markit said:

A record rise in exports was the key highlight from the latest Vietnam Manufacturing PMI survey as firms once again displayed a good ability to secure new work in international markets. This success fed through to improvements throughout the sector, with production, employment and purchasing activity all rising solidly in April. The manufacturing sector therefore remains a star performer in Vietnam at the start of Q2.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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